Level: Difficult

Distance: 26 km r/t

Time: 11 h r/t

Elevation Change: 1680 m

Topographical Map: Squamish 92G/11

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Season: July to Oct

Access: See Getting to Whistler

The approach to Mount Capilano begins the same as for the previous hike. Instead of following Phyllis Creek to her headwaters veer left and cross the waterway. The route continues over an old, badly-eroded logging road above the banks of Furry Creek to just beyond Beth Creek. Watch for the trail to Mount Capilano leading off to the right of the road bed, rising through a series of switchbacks. The steep track quickly leaves logging's legacy behind, giving way to old-growth forest before reaching the shores of Beth Lake. The deep mountain lake is an ideal place to break for lunch before pushing on to the 1686-metre crown of Mount Capilano.

From the lake work down and around, first westwards then south up towards a ridge that leads ultimately to the barren, rocky summit of Mount Capilano. Perseverance is rewarded by a stupendous panorama extending from the North Shore Mountains and the Lions to the south, the islands of Howe Sound and the craggy Tantalus Range splayed out across the western horizon. Garibaldi Park's trademark peaks rise in the distance to the north.

The End


Vanilla Leaf

Vanilla Leaf

While modern adventurers smear their skin with toxic chemicals to keep pesky bugs at bay, natives of the Pacific Northwest took a less carcinogous approach. The fresh-squeezed juice of common Vanilla Leaf was applied to fend off mosquitos and black flies. Dried leaves, smelling faintly of vanilla, were hung in bunches about the longhouse for the same purpose. A potion of boiled Vanilla Leaf was used to wash bedding to eliminate bed bugs and mites and as a hair treatment to fend off lice and fleas. Look for Vanilla Leaf at trailside in heavy forest wherever moisture accumulates.

Illustration by Manami Kimura